A home bar setup can add a welcoming touch of polish to any gathering, especially during the holidays. With some basic equipment and a few essential ingredients, you can set up a space to please any guest preference.
Liquor for the Home Bar
Liquor keeps for a long time when stored in a cool dry place so this can be considered a long-term investment for years to come. Add a few mixers or perhaps a featured cocktail of the evening to make it festive are both crowd-pleasing ideas for any evening.
There is no need to stock up on an abundance of liquors and mixers. That can be overwhelming for both the host as well as the guests. Keeping it simple with the basics will allow you to produce a surprising number of different cocktails to please any pallet, but also provide inspiration for you and your guests to come up with fun and original drinks of your own.
Here are our 4 recommended essentials:
Gin - martinis, gin and tonics, Tom Collinses, Bee’s Knees (Slate’s Recipe is below)
Bourbon - Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Whiskey Sour
Vodka - the versatile player in any situation - vodka tonic, screwdrivers, cosmopolitans, and martinis
Tequila - margaritas, sunrises, palomas
Stocking up with plenty of non-alcoholic beverages in the bar area will also be a welcoming addition to any party. In order to make everyone feel at home, it is important to provide festive options to the designated drivers and underage party-goers as well. Mocktails, anyone?
Our line from Alice & The Magician offers delicious aromatic sprays. Try the rosemary + wild honey spritzed over a bee's knees mocktail (lemon juice, honey syrup, unflavored seltzer) for a non-alcoholic delight that is pretty comparable to the real thing!
Home Bar Setup
Having an inviting setup encourages guests to help themselves and takes the pressure off of the hosts to refill throughout the evening. With a little planning, a bar setup comes together quickly and easily and will keep your home prepared for any pop in guests throughout the season.
Here are a few of our favorite items from our store to complete your setup with style:
Gold Bar Set
Marble base, matte gold accessories: bottle opener, garnish knife, handled jigger, springed bar strainer
This sleek marble and matte gold bar set looks great on display while conveniently storing your bartending essentials.
Matte Gold Cocktail Shaker
Sphere Ice Tray
This tray makes four large ice spheres, ideal for the slow dilution of stiff cocktails. The design features sloped internal molds to create seamless spheres and rigid connecting pins secure the tray during filling, transfer and freezing.
Stemless White Wine Glass
Rich in tradition, this precisely crafted crystalline design features clean, refined lines and a timelessly sophisticated aesthetic — rounded at the bottom and slightly tapered towards the rim.
Slate’s Favorite twist on the classic Bee's Knees Cocktail Recipe:
Bees Knees Spritz
2oz Bar Hill Gin (our personal favorite)
1oz Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
1oz Honey Water (recipe below)
2oz Lemon Seltzer
Add 2 parts of your favorite Vermont honey to 1 part boiling water and stir to dissolve. It is best to use a mason jar for easy storage, and this type of jar is safe to receive the boiling water.
Add the gin, lemon juice, and honey water to a shaker with some ice. Shake, pour, over ice and top up with the seltzer.